Searching for Sissy

Dog escapes from day care

By Julie Carey
|  Tuesday, Dec 28, 2010  |  Updated 7:47 PM EDT
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A <a title=Virginia woman is searching for her dog Sissy after it escaped from a Springfield doggie day care." />

Julie Carey

A Virginia woman is searching for her dog Sissy after it escaped from a Springfield doggie day care.

The search for an 11-pound, 11-year-old terrier missing in Springfield, Va., was energized Tuesday.

Retired Army Lt. Col. Pat Nichols's dog Sissy escaped Dec. 21 while in the care of Just Fur Pets, a pet day care. She was being walked behind the day care when she slipped out of her collar and ran.

Sissy was seen at a nearby house that night, barking at the back door.

"Animal Control came out," Nichols said. "The Animal Control officer saw her but couldn't catch her."

So Nichols has spent the holidays searching for her pet. The owner and staff of Just Fur Pets have been helping.

"Already hired a pet tracker twice and printed 500 fliers," Nichols said.

The expense is worth it, she added.

Just Fur Pets owner Mirella Addante said they've never lost a pet before.

"It breaks my heart that she's out there in the cold and that she's not back home, and we've been really tirelessly looking for her since Tuesday (Dec. 21) evening, spending evenings camping out at different … sites and getting pet trackers to come out and look for her," Addante said.

Nichols doesn't blame Just Fur Pets for Sissy's disappearance.

"I know they didn't do it out of malice," Nichols said.

A dog matching Sissy's description was spotted Tuesday entering the woods at Cardinal Forest. After receiving that tip, Nichols hired a well-regarded pet detective from Georgia to assist in the search.

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